We have all had our patience tried in our lives. Whether it is exercising patience in expectant anticipation, or exercising patience with that person who seems to know how to push all our buttons. It is never easy to exercise patience when we long for something or when we are being stretched further than we thought we could handle. When I thought of people who had to exercise great patience, Abraham immediately came to mind. He was given a promise that he knew that he would not live to see all of it fulfilled but he knew that part of it would have to come to pass during his lifetime. Abraham was promised that he would become a great nation and part of that promise was a son. Please turn to Genesis 12:1-4.
One thing I would like to point out is Abraham’s age. He and Sarai had probably given up on the thought of having children because Abraham himself was seventy five years old when God first told him that he would become a nation. No one had ever heard of a seventy five year old bearing children! But Abraham believed God and left just as God asked. Now, please turn to Genesis 15:1-6. Once again, God reminded Abraham to be patient because He had a plan and Abraham believed God. Ten years after Abraham had lived in Canaan, Sarah suggested that God must mean for Abraham to bear children through her maidservant. Abraham agreed and had a son named Ishmael, but this was not what God meant with His promise (Genesis 16:1-4). Please look at Genesis 17:15-22. In this conversation, we can see how perhaps Abraham’s patience was being stretched, but God reminded him of the promise He gave him years ago.
Please turn finally to Genesis 21:1-5. We can see that Abraham finally had his son, Isaac when he was one hundred years old! Abraham had to wait 25 years from the first mention of the promise until he finally saw his son born. Sometimes, God puts us in situations where we are forced to wait for Him to fulfill what He wants, and those are the times when our patience is stretched the furthest. When we begin to lose patience, perhaps wisdom is remembering how long Abraham had to wait for one of his deepest desires. We can be encouraged remembering that God always keeps His promises and we don’t need to take matters into our own hands to “help” Him along the way.
Is your trust in God helping your patience?